The Socially Savvy Digital Citizen

Inherent in being a good digital citizen is acting ethically in digital interactions and having a healthy and safe experience.

Digital Citizen & Citizenship Definitions:

  • A person who develops the skills and knowledge to effectively use the Internet and other digital technology, especially in order to participate responsibly in social and civic activities (
  • A digital citizen refers to a person utilizing information technology (IT) in order to engage in society, politics, and government participation. In qualifying as a digital citizen, a person generally must have extensive skills and knowledge in using the Internet through computers, mobile phones, and web-ready devices to interact with private and public organizations (Wikipedia).
  • Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use. Too often we are seeing students as well as adults misusing and abusing technology but not sure what to do. The issue is more than what the users do not know but what is considered appropriate technology usage (Digital Citizenship).
The 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship (Respect, Educate, Protect)

Source: Digital Citizenship

Respect Yourself/Respect Others

1. Etiquette: electronic standards of conduct or procedure.

2. Access: full electronic participation in society. 

3. Law: electronic responsibility for actions and deeds.

Educate Yourself/Connect with Others

4. Literacy: process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology. 

5. Communication: electronic exchange of information. 

6. Commerce: electronic buying and selling of goods

Protect Yourself/Protect Others

7. Rights and Responsibility: those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world.

8. Safety (Security): electronic precautions to guarantee safety. 

9. Health and Welfare: physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world.

Student Statistics 

  • 74% of teenagers and young adults currently use Facebook, followed by Instagram use with a 59% share and Snapchat with a 57% share. Yet when teens, whose average age was 16.3, rated their “most important” social network, Instagram and Twitter were given more important ratings than Facebook.
  • 66% of users aged 13 to 24 used social photo sharing app Instagram.
  • Contrary to some beliefs, Facebook continues to be the most popular social media and networking site used by teenagers and young adults, aged 12 to 24 years old in 2015.
  • 93% of teens ages 15-17 have mobile access to the internet through a phone, tablet or other device.
  • In North America, young adults and teenagers aged 16-24 spend the most time online via mobile, more than any other age group, spending nearly 200 minutes per day on a mobile device.
  • Teen and Millennial age groups now spend almost as much time on mobile devices as they do on a PC/laptop/tablet.
  • Among high school graduates, when on their mobile devices, the most popular social networks and apps include text messaging, followed by Instagram, then Facebook and Snapchat. 

Source: “Reach of leading social media and networking sites used by teenagers and young adults in the United States as of February 2016.” Statista

Key Take Aways

Are we teaching students to be good digital citizens?

At Socially Savvy, we focus on helping students be their own best brand stewards and have sound digital judgement. We help students with their personal brand building by assisting to understand the right way to activate their online identities, grow and deepen their network, manage their content interactions and form good habits of behavior in the way they interact digitally. Through the development of the skills required to be proficient in social media, students are better prepared to be productive digital citizens.

  1. Use sound judgement in all communication and interactions both on and offline. Allow your goals, values and beliefs to inform your online and social media actions and guide your digital behavior.
  2. Online communications with the decorum and composure you hope to project is the key to online personal brand building. Your credibility, authority, reputation, and influence can be greatly enhanced through the effective use of social media. Comport in a way your wish to be perceived to differentiate yourself as an individual.
  3. Invest in yourself and your career readiness by learning the ‘science of social.’Spend the time needed to become proficient in social media and networking skills that improve your career readiness and professional communication. This translates to activating and optimizing your complete social identity, growing and deepening your network with the right audience, becoming an original content creator and making communication on social media part of your normal routine.

Read more by Rachel Mezzatesta, here


Socially Savvy works with educational & government institutions, businesses and executives to provide social media activation training and curriculum solutions.

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